Map 10 Kitchener and Map 11 Conestogo (8 km)
Early in the morning we parked on Victoria St next to the Grand River. The trail crosses the Victoria St bridge over the river, offering beautiful views if you can ignore the traffic thundering by. Then it heads into a cool and shady woodlot along the river. The trail is generally well worn and well marked with blazes. After threading its way through the woods, the trail heads to Bridge St, crossing the planned new highway 7. The Grand Valley Trail Association has been assured there will be provision for a highway crossing for the trail. So far there are no signs of highway construction.
From Bridge St, the trail dives back into a woodlot alongside a tiny burbling Carisbrooke Creek and then up through the woods to Ebycrest Rd, where we had left our escape vehicle. Fortunately, by pure coincidence today’s chosen hiking route passed close to our dentist’s office in Kitchener, so we took a break for an appointment, and were able to finish the hike after a quick lunch.
We set out from Ebydale Dr through Natchez Woods, heading towards the Ottawa St road allowance and down to the Kolb Greenway. The woods are full of mature trees, and the forest feels very open and spacious. Adding further pleasure to the afternoon, the mosquitoes seemed to be taking a midday siesta. At this point, the trail joins the Walter Bean Grand River Trail (more on this trail later). The trail heads through a subdivision and then along a road in an industrial area, before entering Kolb Park. Here the Grand Valley/Walter Bean Trail is a wide, stone-dust multi-use trail right beside the Grand River, with a reclaimed gravel pit pond on the other side of the trail. The trail goes through an underpass under Victoria St to the Stanley Park Optimist Natural Area and back to the parking lot, beside a pond full of water lilies.